It is important to invest in pieces that stand the test of time.
Investing in quality wooden furniture can sometimes seem like a daunting task. Welcoming new rooms into your home can feel a bit like dating and getting married. There’s the initial excitement of finding the perfect piece that ties a room together, the cozy years where it almost seems to fade into the background, and finally the love and appreciation that only comes with time. – with a few dings and scratches.
It is important to invest in quality parts that stand the test of time. Here is a summary of my favorite tips for investing in wooden furniture.
Speak the conversation. It’s important to understand the jargon so you can be sure you know exactly what you’re getting. Wood furniture falls into three categories: solid wood, wood veneer, and particle board. Solid wood is usually the most expensive of the three, but you’re paying for the quality. Veneers have a quality piece of wood on the outside with a cheaper composite material on the inside (to keep costs down). Particleboard is the cheapest of the three and often does not stand the test of time. That said, there’s definitely a time and place for every option, so know your space and budget and buy accordingly.
Co-construction. It is one of the most visible determinants of an investment. Check the furniture at its joints. Does it show traces of glue, nails, pegs or screws? If you’re looking for a piece that will last a long time, stay away from furniture with visible glue or nails at the joints – they aren’t as effective in the long run. Dowels and screws will stand the test of time, but if you’re looking for the ultimate in joint quality, look for dovetail joints (they look like interlocking teeth) or dovetail joints. mortise and sinew (a narrow section in one side fitted into a hole in the other).
Be realistic with yourself. I once bought a fantastic extra-wide table that would have fallen firmly into the overlap between industrial and mid-century modern. A beautiful piece in its own right, but squarely out of my comfort zone. I promised myself to build a room around it and love it forever, but it turns out it only lasted a year. There’s nothing wrong with incorporating unique pieces of wood into your room design. I think it’s awesome! But be realistic with yourself and your design goals for your home (I definitely wasn’t, once upon a time, and I still have to cheer myself up every once in a while). I tend to step out of my comfort zone in upholstered pieces and accessories and invest in wooden pieces that I know will stand up to my most fanciful decisions.
Buy at the right time. Knowing when to get your parts is important to ensure you get what you pay for. After tax day is a great time to check locally for furniture sales. Many stores offer discounts on larger items at this time.
Don’t be afraid of really Check it out. Wiggle the cushions, test the buttons, wiggle the table legs, knock on the table top, look under the cabinet, open the doors. If you’re investing in a great quality piece, that could mean you’re spending several hundred (or thousands) more dollars. It’s perfectly fine that you want to be absolutely sure that it meets your standards.
Trust your designer. If you are working with a designer, do not hesitate to ask their opinion on the quality of a part. Designers work with a variety of brands every day, and if they’ve been in the business for a while, they’ve seen a lot of furniture. They will be able to tell you which lines are quality and which are just not up to par. I bet they even have a few of their own tips to help you find the perfect piece.